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Four in ten disabled children are living in poverty

Children's Society publishes new report as part of national campaign

Four in ten disabled children in the UK – that is 320,000 - are living in poverty, according to a new report by The Children's Society.  

Nearly a third of those 320,000 are living in severe poverty. The Society says that when a disabled adult also lives in the household, around half of all disabled children will be living in poverty.

A pdf of the The Children's Society report  '4 in every 10 disabled children living in poverty' is downloadable from the organisation's website. It makes key recommendations to ministers detailing how families can be lifted out of poverty, including urging the Government to make sure that all families with disabled children are aware of, and able to take up, their full entitlement to benefits. 

The charity is also calling for government to do more to help these families, including placing pressure on decision-makers to rethink welfare reforms, which would see over 100,000 disabled children lose up to £27 per week following the introduction of the Universal Credit. 

The organisation has already, in collaboration with 30 major national charities, launched a petition and have received over 5000 signatures so far. The petition "Don't let disabled children pay the price of welfare reform", argues that cutting benefits removes a vital lifeline for many disabled families who could be pushed below the poverty line as a result. 

The Society claims that new analysis in the report shows how additional costs of caring for a child with a disability – which has not been accounted for in previous analysis – mean that poverty rates amongst disabled children are higher than government statistics have previously stated. 

Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive of The Children's Society said:

"These findings are staggering and very worrying. It seems that all forms of support for disabled children are seriously hampered when families live on a low income. Hidden costs, such as transport, heating and learning aids are forcing more disabled children and young people and their families into poverty.

"It is essential that the government does not cut rates of support for disabled children under the Universal Credit. We believe that this cut in support can only lead to more disabled children being pushed into poverty and are urging the government to review it."